Tributes to caring great-grandmother

Olga Camm with son Steve and daughter Linda Riding.
Olga Camm with son Steve and daughter Linda Riding.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a St Annes great-grandmother who spent decades helping others.

Olga Camm, who lived in Blackpool for many years and founded a local branch of a support group for those with motor neurone disease (MND), died on June 2, aged 93.

Mrs Camm lost her husband Steve to the devastating disease in 1985 and immediately set about forming a support group in the area.

In the early days, only five women regularly with a mission statement “to ensure no person living with MND and their families should have to experience such isolation, such lack of facilities and at the very least provide somewhere they could get information, help and support and find others who would simply understand”.

The group became officially recognised later that year by the national Motor Neurone Disease Association and went from strength-to-strength.

Gwynneth Mugonyi, vice chairman of the Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde branch of the MND Association, said: “Olga was a perfect colleague, one of the happiest, kindest, most enthusiastic people I have ever met.

“I thoroughly enjoyed her company and regular phone calls.

“My husband and I will miss a very much loved friend, a dedicated and extremely talented lady who leaves a legacy of achievement that continues to benefit people living with MND, their carers and their families.”

In 1991, Mrs Camm met the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson then patron of the MND Association, at Royal Preston Hospital.

In the same year Mrs Camm and her daughter Linda trained as MND volunteer visitors – who would check in on people with MND in their own homes – helping to ensure they were in receipt of the best care available.

Mrs Camm staunchly continued raising awareness by speaking at various events and fundraising.

In 2002, she was a finalist in the Eve Woman of the Year Awards.

Her 90th birthday in 2008 saw Mrs Camm presented with a special Silver Badge Award, by the MND Association’s national office – a tribute in recognition of 23 years of supporting people with MND.

Last year the great-grandmother-of-five was presented with one of only two awards outside Lancashire County Council’s area for her dedication to voluntary service in recognition as an unsung hero of unstinting voluntary service.

She was presented with an honorary masters degree from the Open University, as she helped found its Association of Graduates.